Ryan Dadoun: With the trade deadline behind us, which players' prospects for the rest of 2014-15 have improved the most due to a trade?
Michael Finewax: Erik Cole has gone from the Stars to a top-six role in Detroit and is currently playing alongside Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg. That is a golden role to have and after scoring 18 goals and 33 points in Dallas, he has two assists in two games with the Red Wings. He is also seeing first power play time with his linemates so his fantasy value has skyrocketed.
Corey Abbott: I don't think Cole's situation has improved that much because he was already enjoying plenty of success prior to being traded. He was skating alongside Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza in Dallas. He also had 12 goals and 20 points in 22 games just before he was shipped to Detroit. I think he'll continue to play well with the Red Wings.
I realize that Antoine Vermette hasn't picked up a point yet with Chicago, but I believe it's only a matter of time before he punches through. His ice time jumped from 12:55 in his debut to 18:40 in Friday's game versus Edmonton. Vermette is capable of much more offense than he displayed with the Coyotes and playing on Chicago's second line with the likes of Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, Teuvo Teravainen and Kris Versteeg will help him out tremendously. He also has a spot on the Blackhawks' second power-play unit. His atrocious minus-23 rating will certainly improve and he's a great player to have if faceoffs are used.
Kevin Brown: It didn’t receive much fanfare, but I think the addition of Marek Zidlicky to the Red Wings will be provide a nice boost to his fantasy value and make him more relevant in shallower leagues. The veteran blueliner has long been thought of as more of an offensive threat than a defensive stalwart and coach Mike Babcock will definitely set him up for success by playing him in situations where he can succeed. The fact that he scored a power play tally in his first game in the Motor City might place him back on the radar for some people so fantasy gamers should move quickly to add him.
Ryan Dadoun: I agree that Vermette has a lot more potential for the rest of the season now that he's in Chicago and I'm optimistic about Chris Stewart in Minnesota for similar reasons. He's gone from playing on the worst offensive team in the league to skating alongside Mikko Koivu Nino Niederreiter. If nothing else, Stewart's plus/minus should be far better in Minnesota, but I'm also looking for an uptick in production.
Corey Abbott: I've liked what I've seen from Curtis Glencross so far in Washington. He's picked up two goals and two assists in his past two games. I initially thought that he could get a shot at playing with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, but that hasn't happened yet. I think it will at some point, though. Still, he's been productive while seeing the majority of his even strength time with Jay Beagle and Troy Brouwer. He's also played with Evgeny Kuznetsov and he's logged time on the second power-play unit. Glencross has always been a versatile player who can play up and down a lineup, while contributing a good number of hits, and he'll fit in well with the Capitals for the rest of the season.
Kevin Brown: Glencross is actually someone I think qualifies as a perfect sell-high candidate at the moment - although I recognize most leagues have already seen their trade deadline come and go - because I don’t see how his production can be sustained. Because he’s not playing on the team’s top line or number one power play unit, I think his early success with the Capitals is more mirage than trend. Consider that the former member of the Flames and Blue Jackets averaged16:40 in ice time with Calgary this season and has averaged just 12:20 with Washington. Sure, we could await a possible move to Ovechkin’s line forever, but outside of that I think his fantasy owners will be disappointed by him. In the interest of full disclosure, I would also like to point out that I own him in my hometown keeper league so I have no reason to be negative about his prospects.
Michael Finewax: Of course you have to like what Glencross has done thus far with four points in three games, but I agree with Kevin in that it is not sustainable. Glencross was pretty upset with the Flames before he was dealt and has a chip on his shoulder, which might be helpful the rest of the way but I don't think he'll have enough opportunities to show well. It really was not a great trade deadline. I would mention Wisniewski but he is hurt and may not get the chance to replace the injured Sami Vatanen on the point in Anaheim.
Corey Abbott: I agree that selling high on Glencross if you can would be a pretty good idea, but I wouldn't worry too much about his average ice time, at least not yet. It has fluctuated a lot this season and he's just three games into his trial period with Washington. In the interest of full disclosure as well, I consider him more of a wait-and-see player. Getting time on the man advantage is a step in the right direction and if he does move up the depth chart then I wouldn't hesitate to pick him up. He's typically a player that gets added and dropped off waivers repeatedly anyway.
Another underrated acquisition that I would be willing to take a chance on is Tomas Fleischmann in Anaheim. He definitely has seen an improvement in his situation compared to his time with the Panthers. In Florida, he was battling for ice time and spent time in the press box, while going through another disappointing offensive season. Now, he's reunited with Bruce Boudreau and he's been given every opportunity to succeed. He's skating on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg and he's getting time on the top power-play unit. Fleischmann has a goal and an assist in three games.
Ryan Dadoun: Fleischmann has traditionally done very well following a change of scenery so he's certainly interesting in Anaheim. I'd give him a chance too, but I wouldn't hesitate to drop him if he goes cold given his less than reliable track record.
One guy I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet is defenseman Keith Yandle. Granted, he already recorded 41 points in 63 games with Arizona, so there's not a ton of room for improvement, but he's still moving from one of the worst offensive teams to one of the best. Plus, his minus-32 rating in Arizona has been a major blemish on his season from a fantasy perspective and while he was minus-one in his first two games with the Rangers, I expect his rating to be an asset going forward instead of his biggest weakness.
Michael Finewax: Yandle gets a boost in going from Arizona to the Rangers but he already was doing quite well on the power play with the Coyotes as he had 26 points with the man-advantage, tops among blueliners. His plus/minus will be helped but he should not see the minutes in New York that he did with Arizona as he currently is on the third unit with Kevin Klein.
The player in the trade who should see some fantasy improvement is John Moore who was lost in New York but should get a prominent role with Arizona. But his fantasy value will not be that great.
Kevin Brown: Yes, the move for Yandle should be a positive one, but I don’t think it’s the slam-dunk you’re describing. While his plus/minus will certainly improve on Broadway, the amount of power play ice time Yandle received in Arizona was second in the league among blueliners behind only Erik Karlsson of the Senators, but so far with New York he’s being assigned much more conservatively. It’s reasonable to think they’re bringing him along slowly and should see his role expand, but I’m not dismissing this factor entirely.
Ryan Dadoun: Yandle's averaging 3:24 minutes of power-play ice time per game with the Rangers so far and while that's still not as much as he was logging in Arizona, it's still plenty of playing time. That being said, I agree that his upside is limited, just because he was already doing so well. As Michael suggested, John Moore has a far bigger opportunity now that he's in Arizona, but he doesn't do enough offensively to make him worth owning in standard leagues. Still, Arizona has been using him with the man advantage, so he's at least someone worth keeping an eye on.